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BLADE

SYNOPSIS:
Born half man, half vampire after his pregnant mother was attacked and supposedly killed by a vampire, Blade (Wesley Snipes) has made it his quest to rid the world of such bloodsuckers. Armed with a heavy arsenal of lead and garlic spiked firepower, crafted by his longtime mentor and fellow vampire eradicator, Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Blade fights a seemingly never ending battle against the undead. Things heat up when a young and rebellious vampire, Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), sets out to shake up the "pure blood," and still hidden society of vampires. Frost sees humans as nothing more than cattle and wants to rule the House of Erebus that governs all vampires. However, the current leader, Dragonetti (Udo Kier), thinks Frost and his band of heavies are too radical and attract undue attention, particularly from Blade. The vampire killer gets an unlikely partner in the form of Karen (N'bushe Wright), a young haematologist who herself was bitten and is racing against time to find a cure for the malady.

"The vampires are making a comeback, it seems, but one can only hope they're not as dreary as this silly film which takes itself far too seriously for its own good. Star Wesley Snipes must have figured that this vampire-type action hero would be great for him, so he also produced it in the hope of spawning another franchise. It's unlikely that will happen. Blade is a dark, dour, dingy affair and intensely humourless. A kind of monster version of Batman, trying to be hip and contemporary with the genre, Blade is little more than a narcissistic film that adds little to a familiar tale. Blade is as sharp as bubble gum and with as much depth."
Paul Fischer

"On the surface, Blade is a fairly run-of-the-mill action/horror genre flick. But this second feature from director Stephen Norrington is deeper and rather more inventive than previous vampire tales. In the film, Karen - a hematologist - discovers a genetic cause for vampirism; and sets about developing a cure. While the idea of vampirism as a disease isn't new, the concept of it as a 'sexually transmitted disease' of the blood (with obvious parallels to AIDS) which can be cured by science is novel. Blade could therefore be seen, in a rather strange way, as a plea for AIDS research. Also, the vampires aren't dusty old bats in capes who sleep in coffins. No, they're far more dangerous - they're bankers! Like the Mafia, their shadowy empire has infiltrated the "real" world, including nightclubs, big business and the police. Towards the end, however, Blade does tend to become rather derivative - borrowing from Luc Besson's The Fifth Element amongst others - and a little silly. Wesley Snipes looks great as Blade, but his acting range doesn't get much of a workout. Stephen Dorff gets a chance to play evil and does it with credibility. Directed with verve and an edgy energy, Blade is a cut above your average vampire movie. But the squeamish should be warned, the blood flows (literally) freely."
David Edwards

"Poor Blade has a pretty average script to work with; coupled with an idea that is becoming increasingly tired, this film fails to grab. The special effects are beautiful (well...you know what I mean) and are a genuine part of the film. The direction is well-paced and the more violent the scene, the more cameras and thrashing about. The script, while average as a whole, has some amusing moments and is largely free of pat little phrases for the trailers. There are some pretty dodgy characterisations, however, and the inclusion of Traci Lords in the cast was pretty pointless except for her perceived sex appeal. N'Bushe Wright, in her first part of any significance as Karen Jenson the haematologist, is pretty dull but Kris Kristofferson is amiable and amusing enough as the hard-bitten vampire hunter, Whistler. As a horror flick, it doesn't quite make it despite the inventively disgusting blood baths and incredible amount of senseless violence, some of it perpetrated by the flawed personality that is Blade. If you can cope with Wesley Snipes rasping every line he got, it's worth a look."
Peter Anderson

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 2

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BLADE (M15+)
(US)

CAST: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N’Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Traci Lords

DIRECTOR: Stephen Norrington

PRODUCER: Robert Engelman, Peter Frankfurt, Wesley Snipes

SCRIPT: David S. Goyer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Theo van de Sande

EDITOR: Paul Rubell

MUSIC: Mark Isham

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kirk M. Petrucelli

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 8, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: May 4, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment







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